Apostille Attestation for Study Abroad - Importance, Fees, Documents, Procedure


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Feb 17, 2023 02:14 PM IST

To prove that the documents are authentic, students can get them apostille attested. Read the article to know the procedure for apostille attestation, fees and other details.

Apostille Attestation for Study Abroad - Importance, Fees, Documents, Procedure

Apostille attestation: The attestation of educational certificates is an important procedure that international students have to get done by authorised people in order to study abroad. The process authenticates the certificate and proves that it is not fake.

You might come across the term ‘apostille attestation’ while seeking a visa to study, work or live abroad. Certificate apostille and document apostille simply mean to legalise your documents. However, you must note that the certificates and documents have to be verified and validated by the Central Government and there are several steps to be followed before. The process is not simple and requires lots of effort and time to complete the procedure.

In this article, we will discuss in detail the importance of apostille attestation, procedures, accepting countries and others.

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What is Apostille Attestation in India?

While you ponder over the term apostille attestation, you can break it into two halves and analyse the meaning individually of the two terms - apostille and attestation. Apostille is a french word for certification and in a formal context, it is the process of proving the authenticity and credibility of a document. Attestation, on the other hand, is the way of witnessing a certificate or document with a signature, sticker or stamp by the concerned authorities.

Apostille attestation is a way of attesting to the required documents so that they are permitted in all 105 countries under the Hague Convention which came into being on October 5, 1961. India became a member of the convention in 2005. Apostille is done for personal documents such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, affidavits, power of attorney and educational documents such as diplomas, degrees, matriculation and other secondary-level certificates.

When you get your documents apostille attested, you get a sticky sticker and a stamp received from the respective legal department. The sticker that is obtained is a machine-generated specific recognition number stated at the back portion of the documents. This helps in storing all the documents online and checking the authenticity of the materials in a more convenient manner. After getting authenticated by the Ministry of External Affairs, there is no need to get any additional certificate from the embassy.

Importance of Apostille Attestation 

Now that you have got a general idea of apostille attestation, you must also know why you should take the hassle of getting your documents and certificates apostille attested. Here are some of the importance and benefits of apostille attestation:

  • It is Proof of Your Identity: If you have plans of using your documents in foreign countries, apostille attestation is crucial. You cannot simply produce original documents for them to be accepted abroad. In such circumstances, an apostille certificate with a stamp is a valid proof of your identity.

  • Deceptive Legalised Process is Abolished: With an apostille attestation, you can avoid the deceptive legalised process. As it is a legal document, you do not have to resort to unethical means to legalise your documents.

  • Accepted Internationally: The documents which are apostille attested are accepted worldwide. Generally, it is related to personal documents and you have enough proof to prove your identity in foreign nations.

Which Documents are Apostille Attested?

The documents are apostille attested under a project named e-Sanad which aims to provide contactless, faceless and paperless attestation services to Indian citizens who wish to study abroad and have obtained documents from Document Issuing Authorities (DIA) from India.

These include all types of documents such as personal, educational and commercial. Also, the documents should be available in the digital repository to get apostille through e-Sanad which is an electronic service for document verification and apostille attestation. The three main categories have been enlisted below:

Personal Documents

The personal documents that can be apostille attested are:

  • Birth Certificate

  • Marriage Certificate

  • Power of Attorney Certificate

  • Registration Certificate

  • Medical Certificate

  • Bonafide Certificate

  • Divorce Certificate

  • Police Clearance Certificates

  • Experience Certificate

  • Passport Copies

  • Migration Certificate

Educational Documents

The documents related to education that you might get apostille attested are:

  • Marksheets

  • Diploma Certificates

  • Degree Certificates

  • Matriculation Certificates

  • School/College Leaving Certificates

  • Transcript Certificates

  • Transfer Certificates

  • Engineering and Nursing Certificates 

Commercial Documents

The commercial documents that need to be apostille attested are:

  • Invoices

  • Certificates of Origin

  • Memorandum of Association

  • Certification of Incorporation

  • Power of Attorney

  • Authority Letter

  • Bill of Lading

The apostille attestation convention only applies to public documents. Whether the document is a public document or not is decided in India. The documents executed by consular and diplomatic agents are not considered. Certain administrative documents related to commercial and custom operations are also excluded.

Procedure for Apostille Attestation Under E-Sanad

The apostille application process is decentralised in India. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the central body that carries out apostille attestation. There are four Document Issuing Authority (DIA) with e-Sanad and the states that have issuing authorities are Maharashtra, Delhi, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

The procedure you will have to follow for the apostille application while planning to study abroad are:

  • Step 1: Visit e-Sanad.

  • Step 2: Make an online application.

  • Step 3: Submit the documents and pay the fees online.

  • Step 4: Data is then made available to the Ministry of External Affairs.

  • Step 5: Documents are then digitally verified by the concerned DIAs and the General Administration Department (GAD), Government of India.

  • Step 6: MEA verifies digitally signed and pre-approved documents.

  • Step 7: In the final step, the attested documents with apostille stickers are dispatched to the applicants.

Note: MEA does not accept documents from applicants or individuals. All the documents for apostille attestation are submitted to and collected from designated outsourced agencies.

Procedure for Apostille Attestation not Covered Under E-Sanad

The steps involved in apostille attestation not covered under e-Sanad are given below:

Step 1: Authentication of Documents

You will have to get your documents authenticated from Regional Authentication Centres (RACs). The personal documents have to be authenticated by the Home or General Administration Department of State or Union Territory while the education documents and commercial documents have to be authenticated by the education department or chamber of commerce of the respective state or union territory.

Step 2: Deposit Documents with the authorised Outsourced Service Provider

Applicants have to visit their nearest outsourced agency centre to deposit verified documents. The documents are then submitted by outsourced agencies to Branch Secretariat or RPOs having jurisdiction over it.

Step 3: Receiving Apostille Attested Documents from Outsourced Agencies

The outsourced agencies first receive the attested documents from Branch Secretariate or RPOs and then the legalised documents are received by you.

Fees for Apostille Attestation 

You are required to pay a fee of INR 50 for each apostille-attested document. As the ministry is not directly responsible for receiving the documents and they are to be collected and submitted by designated outsourced agencies, the fees charged for the services provided by the agencies are INR 90 and INR 3 for each page of scanned copy.

Levels Involved in Document Apostille Process

The apostille attestation is a complex procedure and involves several levels of attestation. The levels are given below:

  • Notary Attestation: You have to first get your educational, personal and commercial documents certified by the Notary. It is done at the regional level from the office of a lawyer or collector’s office.

  • Home Department Attestation: It is a state-level organisation that is involved in the certification of personal documents. It is authorised to legalise documents issued by the same state government.

  • HRD Attestation: Human Resource Department solely verifies educational documents. Certificate verification is an important part here and is to be done by the university or board where the document is issued.

  • Chamber of Commerce Attestation: The commercial documents are verified from here and before it is legalised by MEA. The state government is not involved in the verification of such documents.

  • MEA Attestation: They will provide the stamp and sticker as needed for apostille attestation. It is the final step of legalisation.

Details Contained in Apostille-Attested Documents

An apostille-attested document contains the following details:

  • Name of the country that has issued the document.

  • Name of the person to whom the document has been issued.

  • Name and designation of the person who signs the document.

  • Place of certification.

  • Date of certification.

  • Number of certificates.

  • Seal or stamp of the certificate issuing authority.

  • Signature of the authority issuing the certificate.

How to Check if Your Apostille Attestation is Authentic?

An apostille attestation is time-consuming and takes a lot of effort. It may take even one or two months to get through the first two steps because of all the back and forth between government offices. Often people hire agencies and agents to complete the task of apostille attestation and there are chances of fake validation. A fake attestation can lead to a lifetime ban and could lead to a visit to the prison. Therefore to fulfil your study abroad dream it is necessary to check the authenticity of your apostille attestation. Here are the ways to identify a fake apostille attestation:

  • If it is in digital format understand that it is fake. To get an apostille attestation, the registrar must examine the document.

  • Make sure that there is a notary stamp on it with the signature of the registrar.

  • Verify the state stamp where the name and address of the state official are mentioned. You can contact them to find out if it is authentic.

  • Look at the Ministry of External Affairs stamp which has the place, date, name of the official person, document type, holder name, and signature of the official and two or more stamps on the edges.

  • Check it through E-Sanad which is a project of MEA for verification of documents.

An Apostille Attestation is important to prove the authenticity and credibility of a document. Getting apostille attestation is helpful as it will be accepted in all 105 countries under Hague Convention. It is convenient to step to attest all your study abroad documents as later no additional certificate will be required from the embassy. The procedure of apostille attestation has been explained in detail so that you can easily follow them and use it for your benefit.

In case of any queries related to apostille attestation or study abroad, connect with us at abroad@collegedekho.com.

Know More About Apostille Attestation!


Do apostille-attested documents have additional value?

No, apostille-attested documents generally do not have additional value. It only certifies the original value of the public document to which it is related. They are not grants of authority and thereby do not carry additional weight. The country where it will be used decides if they will put additional value to the apostille-attested documents. 

What is e-Sanad in respect of apostille attestation?

E-Sanad is an online project aimed at the online submission and verification of documents to make the process seamless and provide attestation service for the apostille to Indian students and other applicants in India. The project is maintained by National Informatics Centre (NIC). The project will later include abroad applicants too.

What is the validity of apostille attestation?

The validity of apostille attestation is six months in India. The duration of validity may differ for other countries. However, there are countries that accept apostille attestations that are more than six months or one year old. Therefore, you should check in with the country where you will be submitting the apostille attestation.

Which are the countries that accept apostille attestation?

The countries that accept are members of the Hague Convention, 1961 accept the apostille attestation. There are a total of 105 countries that accept it. Some of the countries to accept apostille attestation are Australia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and many more.

Can an apostille-attested document be rejected?

It is an authentic piece of legalised foreign public document and cannot be rejected under normal circumstances. The countries under Hague Convention are obliged to accept the documents that are duly apostille attested.  Apostilles can only be rejected if the origin cannot be verified or if the formal elements radically differ from Model Certificate annexed to the convention.

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